Congratulations on taking the first step into what can be an incredible journey! Hula hooping can change your life if you let it! Remember to be patient with yourself along the way. Here are a few helpful tips that can make learning how to hula hoop a little easier.
1) In the beginning the amount of hula hoops available can be overwhelming, there are many different types of hula hoop tubing. What tubing is best for beginners?
In my opinion, I have found Polyethylene (more commonly referred to as PE) tubing the best for beginner hula hoopers. It is thick, durable, and heavier than the other hula hoop tubing that is available. The hula hoops with more weight are important for building muscle memory and keeping momentum when first starting. JAMhoops offers gorgeous beginner hula hoops so you can still have that pretty tape you love! (visit the Beginner JAMhoops page) Once you start to advance or just want a lighter hula hoop you can move on to HDPE or Polypro tubing.
2) What size hula hoop is best for you?
An important part of getting started is picking the right size diameter of your hula hoop. Some people say the correct way to find your size is to measure from your belly button to your feet. Ultimately, it comes down to your body type to determine the best hula hoop size! In the beginning, I truly believe it is necessary to have a larger hula hoop, if you start too small it can be difficult and ultimately discouraging. I think 34” to 38" is a good starting point for most people. Everyone is built differently so it is hard to give definitive beginner size but JAMhoops is always happy to give advice and help make sure your first hula hoop is everything you need and want it to be! Just shoot JAMhoops Limited an email!
3) It is important to focus on the basics of hula hooping. I know you want to toss that hula hoop around and be a hula hoop ninja from the beginning but to get to ninja status you must start with the basics!
Focus on waist hooping in both directions! I can't stress enough how important it is to learn hula hoop tricks in both currents. Meaning, if you tend to waist hoop clockwise make sure you learn how to waist hoop counter-clockwise as well. It is good to learn tricks with both your dominant and non-dominant hand as well. Once you get farther into your hula hoop journey and begin to combine tricks together you will be thankful you took the time to learn on both sides! It is also very good balance for your body, so one side isn't constantly being neglected. Once you feel you have mastered waist hooping, you can start to walk around while you waist hoop, and from there you can try working on moving the hula hoop up and down your body. You have to unlock the key movements in your chest to move the hula hoop upward. This can be difficult but once you feel it click you will get better and better! Deanne Love's YouTube channel was a HUGE help to me in the beginning of my hula hooping journey and I highly recommend checking her out!
4) Once you feel comfortable enough with the basics you can begin to teach yourself some tricks! Hoop Tricks has an amazing list of hula hoop tricks and tutorials to choose from! I recommend starting with basic isolations. They are aesthetically pleasing and once you nail down the basic isolation (often referred to as an iso) you can do many different variations of that hula hoop trick. A few other beginner hula hoop tricks to try are the vortex, the weave, the mandala, the wedgie, and both back and chest rolls.
5) If you have a local community of flow artists reach out to them!
Take a lesson or a class if that is available to you because watching other hula hoopers is inspiring and you can learn so much by watching. You can also find a friend to hula hoop with! If you don't have any resources like that around and don't have anyone who is interested maybe introduce hula hooping to a friend! You can also stay continuously inspired by watching the numerous videos on YouTube or Infinite Circles Community on Facebook.
That last sentence leads me into my 6th and final tip....
6) Do NOT compare yourself or your journey to anyone else. Ever! We are all different, we have different taste in music, we live different lifestyles, we move differently, we feel differently, and most of all we learn differently! A hula hoop trick that took me three months to learn may take you two weeks. Or a hula hoop trick that took you two weeks to learn may take someone else three days. It all depends on how much time and energy you can devote. Some of us can hula hoop all day every day and some of us can't. Some people learn incredibly quickly and can nail a hula hoop trick after seeing it on video two times. Some of us need a more hands on approach to learning. It is important that you be patient with yourself and stay focused and determined. Practice makes progress! Be proud of yourself for every little or big hula hoop trick you accomplish! Don't be afraid to seek out help from the community. People are usually very willing to help out a newbie on their journey!
I hope I have answered some of your questions as a beginner hula hooper and you feel a little more confident in beginning your journey with hula hoops! Remember to have fun because that's really what it is all about!
- Rachel Brown